The 40 Year Old Bat Mitzvah

Flashback to 2003 Passover Dessert

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 14, 2014

The final recipe I shared in the Press-Enterprise “Cook and Tell” column article is a Passover dessert.  This would also make a great gluten-free dessert for anytime, by the way.

In the article I said:

“During the eight days of Passover, Jews do not eat bread, leavened products and numerous other grains and legumes.  These restrictions make desserts particularly hard, but this recipe for poached peaches is delicious and easy.”



  • 2 c dry Italian red wine
  • 2/3 c honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 5 large firm peaches
  • boiling water
  • 1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted (optional)

Place the wine, honey, and cinnamon stick in a small saucepan.  Bring to boil, lower heat, and continue cooking until the liquid thickens.  Remove from heat.  Take out cinnamon stick and stir in vanilla.  Allow to cool completely.

Place peaches in a large bowl.  Pour boiling water over them.  After 3 to 5 minutes (less time if peaches are very ripe) pour off the hot water.  Plunge the peaches into ice water to stop them from cooking.  Peel, pit and halve.  Place in a shallow glass dish.  Pour cooled sauce over the prepared peach halves.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

To serve:  Place peach halves in glass bowls.  Spoon some of the sauce over each half.  Sprinkle with toasted almonds, if desired.  Serves 10.


Passover Treat: Matzo Brei!

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 12, 2014

Matzo Brei is another recipe I shared in the Press-Enterprise article back in 2003.  Here’s what I wrote:

“Matzo is unleavened bread eaten during the eight days of the Passover festival.  It is available year-round in boxes in the kosher food aisle.  Special kosher for Passover matzo is sold in the weeks leading up to each year’s holiday which begins at sundown on April 16 (this year-2003.)

Matzo Brei may be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.  It is delicious plain but also may be served with applesauce and/or maple syrup.

MATZO BREI (serves 2 or 3)


  • 3 matzos, crumbled
  • 1 c boiling water
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • salt to taste
  • 1 T butter or margarine for frying

Combine the crumbled matzos and boiling water in a mixing bowl and let stand for 10 minutes or longer until softened.  Pour in the beaten eggs and salt; stir until the matzos are evenly coated.  Season to taste with salt.

Heat just enough butter or margarine to coat the bottom of a 9″ or 10″ nonstick skillet.  When it is hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle, pour in the matzo mixture.  Turn to moderate heat and cover.  Cook until bottom is golden brown and top is fairly set.  Loosen with a spatula, then slide out onto a flat plate.

Invert the skillet over the plate, then flip over so that the uncooked side is now on the bottom of the skillet.  Cook, uncovered, until the underside is golden brown.  Cut in half to serve two or into three wedges to serve three.

Juliet’s Press-Enterprise Cookie Dough Hamantaschen Recipe

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 10, 2014

Makes 60.


  • 4 c flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 c cold butter
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 T grated orange rind
  • 2 T orange juice
  • Apricot filling (recipe follows)
  • egg glaze:  1 egg mixed with 1/4 tsp salt

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and powdered sugar in a large bowl or food processor bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like coarse meal.  Add egg and egg yolk, orange rind, and orange juice; knead to form a dough.  Refrigerate for an hour or more.  Dough may be made ahead and frozen at this stage.

Roll out dough to very thin thickness of 1/16″.  Cut into 4″ rounds.  Drop teaspoonfuls of apricot filling in the  center of each circle.  Brush edges of rounds with egg glaze.  Lift edges of dough and pinch to form a 3-cornered pastry, leaving center open to prevent leaking.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

Apricot Filling Recipe

  • 2 c dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • juice of 1 lemon

Place apricots in a small saucepan and just cover with water.  Cook over low heat 20-30 minutes or until apricots are soft.  Remove from heat and drain off the water.  Add sugar and lemon juice.  Return to heat and cook gently for 10 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, then process in a food processor or work through a coarse sieve.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Prepared poppy seed or prune paste may be substituted for the apricot filling.  The paste is sold in small jars in the kosher foods aisle in markets.

My (Second) 15 Minutes of Culinary Fame

Posted in Uncategorized by Juliet on March 8, 2014

The  first time around, I was pregnant with Eva and wrote in to the Riverside Press-Enterprise’s “Cook and Tell” column asking for a homemade spicy carrot recipe to make for Scott.  He loves spicy food and I guess I was nesting.  (This is around the same time period that I began my gingerbread recipe collection.)

My friend Francie saw it and teased me  because it seemed like such a classic pregnancy craving (though actually I never craved anything spicy when I was pregnant with either of the girls.)

A reader who had worked at Guadalajara Mexican restaurant in Lake Elsinore wrote in with a recipe that I still use to this day.

My second brush with newspaper food fame is this — ta da!  (Click on it to enlarge.)

Scan0013Fresh off the excitement of being given a great spicy carrot recipe, I paid it forward by sharing some Purim and Passover recipes.  The newspaper sent a photographer to our apartment.  She was a charming young French woman and we spent most of the afternoon drinking tea and eating cookies.  The finished product wasn’t beautiful (though it tasted fine) and she had trouble finding one pretty enough to photograph for the front page teaser.  It ended up not looking bad:


The column is dated March 5, 2003, so Eva would have been about 10 mos old at the time.  I don’t remember having her there during teatime with the French photographer, but she must have been there so I am assuming she slept through the whole thing.  Now she’s old enough to make hamantaschen with her Hebrew school class and next year she’ll be making them with the older kids’ youth group as part of their major fundraiser.  My baby is growing up!  This year we rolled into Sunday school 15 minutes late on baking day and apparently there had a been a big panic because she was assigned to bring the oil, so they were at a standstill until we got there.  She also volunteered to bring Nutella and made a sugar-bomb hamantaschen filled with layers of apricot and Nutella and topped with chocolate chips.

I showed Jane the article and she was pretty casual about it.  Her first question was, “Where was I?” and I told her she wasn’t born yet.


Then I blew her mind even more by pointing out the little jars in the bottom left corner of the picture.  Prune baby food!  She seems skeptical but I think I actually will have to make hamantaschen this year to prove to her that it is an oddly delicious cookie filling.

Aha!  Maybe that’s why baby Eva was so content and quiet that afternoon.